A 70-year-old U.K. woman was about to discard a nearly $3 million diamond ring, thinking it was a trinket.
As reported by the BBC, the Northumberland woman, who remains anonymous, said she found the ring while cleaning her house. She had acquired it along with other items she had bought over many years at ‘jumble’ sales but could not quite remember where and when it had been.
The woman, who usually made purchases of things of little value, mistook the ring for simple jewelry and was about to dispose of it, but on the advice of a neighbor decided to take it to a jeweler to have it appraised.
Mark Lane, the auctioneer employed by Featonby’s Auctioneers of North Shields, a town in northeast England, where the woman took the ring, said she came in with a jewelry box in which she had the diamond piece along with her wedding ring and other low-value jewelry items.
Lane saw that the stone was quite large but initially thought it consisted of cubic zirconia, a synthetic stone die often used to mimic diamonds. He kept it in his office for several days until he used a diamond-specific testing machine.
“We then sent it off to our partners in London before it was certified by experts in Antwerp, Belgium, who confirmed it is 34 carat,” the auctioneer said.
He also mentioned that the valuation of the jewel was a shock to him, and that it was by far the most valuable item that had entered his business since he acquired it 5 years ago.
“The colour, the clarity, the size… to find a 34-carat diamond is off the scale,” he said of the gemstone valued at approximately $2,741,520.
The gem, which remains under lock and key at London’s Hatton Garden jewelry store, will be auctioned on Nov. 30.
The lucky retired woman, was delighted to have discovered a diamond after a trinket shopping spree that was something she loved to do, and that it never crossed her mind that the piece could be a real diamond.